There are so many places named something-with-Epidavros in this area, it can be difficult to distinguish them from each other. In addition, there’s an ancient theatre in two of them.
ARCHEA or PALIA EPIDAVROS (both names are used) is a pretty village on the east coast of Argolis, a quiet little spot where it’s probably not much else to do than to drink a coffee or eat at a nice tavern on the waterfront, or enjoy the sun and a bath on one of the two the beaches close to the town. But sometimes that’s all we need!
Most people who are visiting here, however, come because of an entirely different reason: The little theater, which is out on the green-clad headland you see from the port of Archea Epidavros. The theatre, being build in the 4th century BC, has 18 seating rows and could accommodate 2000 people. It was probably used in connection with worshipping Dionysus. Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and ecstasy, so imagine the celebrations here 2500 years ago! Also, go exploring behind the upper part of the theatre, and find remnants of the ancient city that used to be here.
In July and August concerts are given here, mostly by Greek musicians, and we can almost promise that you've never had a concert experience like this before. Recommended!
Tickets should be booked in advance, for example on greekfestival.gr.
The other Epidavros'es in the area is:
PARALIA EPIDAVROS, a tiny town just north of Archea Epidavros, which is more or less exactly what the name, Paralia, describes: a beach.
NEA EPIDAVROS, a charming town that lies between the large theater and Paralia Epidavros. Here you can visit the ruins of a Byzantine fortress and Vothila, a scenic little canyon. Not far away you can also find an enchanting water mill, Neromilos, restored and now a museum.
EPANO EPIDAVROS is located just above Archea Epidavros (Epano means upper), a small village, and frankly we just mention it here to make the list complete.
The other Epidavros'es and another theatre
The little, ancient theatre.
This is the oldest and one of the most beautiful monasteries in Epidavros, and worth a detour if you are in the area. Agnountos is located approximately 4 km north of Nea Epidaurus, and has a lovely church from the 11th century, with frescoes from 1250. The monastery is surrounded by eight meters high, thick walls, and appears as a small fort,
but all the plants in the cloister garden soften the appearance significantly. A hundred meters away is the small Agios Ioannis chapel from 1766. The monks used this at funerals.
A sign at the entrance of the monastery says that women in pants will not be allowed to enter, but you can borrow a skirt at the small monastery shop.